How A Grand Theft Charge Differs From Petit Theft and Theft Charges in Florida

Specific theft charges can vastly differ from one another in definition and legal ramifications. Any individual facing a charge of theft, petit theft, or grand theft should be equipped with the knowledge to successfully navigate the Florida justice system. 

At The Rickman Law Firm, our team of experienced Tampa grand theft attorneys understands the importance of clarity when it comes to legal matters. We aim to provide you with a straightforward explanation of how grand theft charges differ from petit theft and other theft-related offenses in Florida.

Understanding Theft Laws in Florida

Theft is a serious criminal offense, and it encompasses a range of activities where one person takes another person’s property without consent and with the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of their property. 

The severity of theft charges in Florida is determined by the value of the stolen property and other factors, leading to various degrees of theft offenses.

Petit Theft vs. Grand Theft

One of the primary distinctions in Florida theft law is between petit theft and grand theft. The key factor in differentiating between these two offenses is the value of the stolen property:

Petit Theft: Often referred to as petty theft, is generally charged when the value of the stolen property is less than $750. Under Florida Statutes § 812.014, petit theft is further classified into two degrees:

  • First-Degree Petit Theft: This occurs when the stolen property’s value is $100 or more but less than $750. It is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree, which can lead to imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Second-Degree Petit Theft: This charge applies when the stolen property’s value is less than $100. It is considered a misdemeanor of the second degree, carrying a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Grand Theft: On the other hand, grand theft is charged when the stolen property’s value exceeds $750. Under Florida Statutes § 812.014, grand theft is classified into three degrees:

  • First-Degree Grand Theft: This is the most severe form of grand theft and applies when the stolen property’s value exceeds $100,000. It is considered a felony of the first degree, carrying a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second-Degree Grand Theft: Occurs when the stolen property’s value is between $20,000 and $100,000. It is a felony of the second degree, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Third-Degree Grand Theft: This applies when the stolen property’s value is between $750 and $20,000. It is a felony of the third degree, with potential penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Understanding the Implications Of Theft-Related Charges Possible Defenses for Theft Charges

Theft convictions can have serious consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and a permanent criminal record. Furthermore, theft charges can lead to collateral consequences, affecting employment opportunities, housing options, and more.

At The Rickman Law Firm, our experienced Tampa felony defense attorneys are well-versed in Florida’s theft laws. We understand that each case is unique and requires a tailored defense strategy. If you or someone you know is facing theft charges in Florida, seeking professional legal representation is essential.

Potential Penalties Possible Defenses for Theft Charges

When facing theft charges in Florida, it’s essential to have a strong defense strategy in place. The expert Tampa grand theft attorneys with The Rickman Law Firm will thoroughly assess your case and evidence to create the best defense strategy possible, which may include:

  • Lack of Intent: Proving intent is a critical element in theft cases. We may work to establish that you did not have the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of their property, which can result in a reduction or dismissal of charges.
  • Mistaken Identity: In some cases, individuals are wrongfully accused of theft due to mistaken identity. We may investigate the circumstances surrounding your case to establish that you may not be the person responsible for the alleged theft.
  • Evidence Issues: Our defense attorneys may scrutinize the evidence against you for weaknesses, inconsistencies, or insufficiencies. If there are gaps or flaws in the prosecution’s case, we may leverage them to cast doubt on the charges during trial.
  • Procedural Errors: We might also examine the procedures followed by law enforcement during the investigation, arrest, or search and seizure. If any procedural errors or violations of your rights occur, we can challenge the admissibility of evidence in court.

Get The Protection and Representation That You Deserve With The Rickman Law Firm

At The Rickman Law Firm, our experienced Tampa felony defense attorneys are dedicated to providing you with strong defenses and strategic guidance throughout your legal journey. 

If you or someone you know is facing theft charges in Florida, do not hesitate to contact our office at (813) 370-1185 or fill out the consultation form on our website. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist you. Trust your case with The Rickman Law Firm for the legal representation you deserve.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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